The Damage Words Can Do
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 19, 2014
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years since I wrote a post about language and why using the right words and trying to say the right thing is a good thing to do. That post, titled Choosing Your Words Carefully, was more about motivation and how one can flip the switch on how they see things by using positive words instead of negative words in describing things that maybe one doesn’t want to do or wants to do but says it in a way that it sounds hard.
This post goes in a totally different direction, although the subject matter is generally the same thing. Remember the old line “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? At this point we all know that’s not true right? From the post I did in November on bullying to all the stories we keep hearing about another person or child committing suicide because they just couldn’t get away from the constant torment of others, and strangely enough it’s mostly not physical violence that’s driven them to these actions.
At times I have to say that I’ve lived a pretty charmed life when it comes to people I’ve known. I’ve only known 1 person who committed suicide and two who tried it. I’ve known a few people who’ve passed away from cancer, including my dad, but not all that many to this date. I’ve never met anyone with HIV/Aids. I’ve been lucky enough to not have gotten into any kind of physical altercation since I was 15 years old, although I came close a few times, but providence has pretty much kept me safe. Sure, I eat bad and I did hurt my back trying to help someone many years ago, but otherwise I’ve been pretty good.
Then last Monday I got wind of something that depressed me. It depressed me because I never thought it would get to the point that it did. It depressed me because what started things in a downward spiral involved words, and in the scope of things not even words that one might have thought were all that bad.
But they were bad, and they were hateful, and they weren’t said in the spirit of friendship. They were said straight forward, kind of in a brutally honest way as far as the person who said it saw things, and the person who heard the words was blindsided by them.
The video I’m linking to here is one I did on the subject, and it talks more about how words are bad; as a matter of fact, how words can kill. You know, sometimes all of us are in a mood where we’re going to say something hateful towards someone else, and when we do it we have the intention of hurting that other person in some fashion. Usually it’s during a period where both people are mad at each other, so there’s a buffer that, if we’re lucky, helps us to recover, move on, and even possibly reconcile.
But when people are caught off guard? I’ve talked about it on the blog as it regards those in authority giving bad news to an employee that doesn’t see it coming. Bad job performance; did they know they needed to improve? Accusations; were they warranted and was there any proof?
Words can hurt… words can kill… You hate political correctness? Take a look at the video and then ask yourself if you’d ever want to be responsible for someone doing what I mention here: